Do You Qualify As a “Thought Leader?”
(we shot this video while in the plane to Germany)
This morning we were having breakfast in Hamburg with our German friends that we met 5 years ago in Hawaii when we started this journey around the world and the topic of “Thought Leadership” came up.
Axel is an ENT Doctor with a specialty in Cosmetic Procedures and we were discussing how thought leaders are created based on their experiences and the willingness to share the information they learn.
Personally, I’ve never liked the term, “Thought Leadership” since it signifies some exalted guru status, and in my 8.5 years experience of being an online content marketer suggests something much less exclusive.
Anyone can achieve business authority with content if they truly want to.
The “Unstoppable Family” has done it in a few area’s without truly knowing much at the start but through experience you too can become a “Thought Leader” in your area of expertise. Our family was one of the first that truly took “sustainable traveling” or “Working From NO Home” with a family to a whole new level and we are now looked at as the pioneer’s for information of how to travel with a child and still run a successful business.
Same goes for online branding. After 8.5 years of online marketing and using Attraction Marketing as our main source of adding clients to our business, I started a “Branding Workshop” to show people how to truly brand themselves online so that people want to follow and buy what they have, I have been called the “Branding Queen” across the industry and now share what I have learned to people all over the world
” What Is Thought Leadership”?
Still, when smart people speak, I listen. I decided to dig a little deeper into the concept of thought leadership, especially since I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it.
Turns out the term “thought leadership” was coined back in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of the Booz Allen Hamilton magazine Strategy & Business Kurtzman used the term to refer to people “who had business ideas which merited “Attention.”
That’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it?
How To Become a Thought Leader?
- If you publish valuable business information that matters to prospective customers and clients, you can gain initial attention
- If you focus on providing that information continuously (just like a magazine), you can gain permission-based continual attention.
- And if you provide relevant solutions, you can convert those prospects into new customers and clients from that attention.
So, go ahead and consider yourself a thought leader if you’re educating and motivating people with content. Because you’ve earned the scarcest of resources – attention.
Here’s the thing …
This type of attention is derived from Authority.
In the realm of content marketing, authority is demonstrated, not claimed. Which means leaders are not born or made — they’re selected by the intended audience as someone that they want to learn from, therefore a leader or a thought leader in this case is someone that offers value, creates attention with what they do and share and has authority in their area of expertise.
If you have the attention of an audience, you’re a leader already.
Great leaders plan, listen, observe, inspire, and then give direction.
But most of all they continue to demonstrate, in this case by freely sharing their valuable knowledge via content whether it be through blog posts, Facebook posts, article writing or my favorite….video. The likable expert demonstrates in order to achieve leadership, but also to maintain it.
That means accepting the responsibility to earn leadership in the first place, which is the beginning of something powerful. Spiderman’s Uncle Ben (actually Voltaire) said “With great power comes great responsibility,”
but the converse is also true:
With great responsibility comes great power.
So my best recommendation and advice that I can offer to you today, is to become a “Thought Leader” or simply a “Leader by Example” to those around you so that you can become a trusted source in your industry of expertise and create a following of authority…
and that UNSTOPPABLE.
Rhonda & Brian Swan
“LifeStyle by Design Experts”
Proving anyone can work from NO home and be UNSTOPPABLE
I just love what you guys are doing and what you stand for. We broke free from the clutches of our 9-5 world just this year and have decided to make it an adventure for our little family too (we have a 5 year-old boy and 1 year-old girl). There’s a lot of uncertainty for us at the moment, but I’ll take uncertainty over the certainty of boredom and feeling unfulfilled any day. Kudos to you guys! Keep posting, I’ll keep reading and following!